Puerto Rican Lasagna, or Pastelón, is made with sweet slices of plantains instead of noodles, saucy beef picadillo and plenty of cheese. The savory aroma while baking is mouthwatering!
Puerto Rican Lasagna
Another Puerto Rican recipe for you – and this is one of my favorites! It’s called pastelón, but I like to call it Puerto Rican Lasagna. It has layers of saucy meat and cheese, but instead of lasagna noodles we use sweet plantains.
The taste is absolutely incredible! The combination of salty beef picadillo, soft sweet plantains and sharp melted cheese is unlike anything you’ve tasted before. Unless, of course, you grew up eating Puerto Rican lasagna…in that case, lucky you!
This dish is so warm and comforting – perfect for fall weather. Forget the scent of pumpkin spice, I’ll take one of these casseroles in my oven, filling up the house with its mouthwatering, savory aroma.
Some folks call this piñon, but it depends where you’re from. I also have a piñon recipe on my website, but I use medium-ripe plantains along with kidney beans, green beans and no cheese, so keep that in mind. It’s heartier, filling and delicious, but less sweet.
You’ll need one recipe of my picadillo, but make it without the potatoes. If you have your own favorite recipe for picadillo, feel free to use that. Keep in mind it’s one pound of ground beef (or turkey, etc).
For this dish, you will need plantains that are nice and ripe. Unlike Puerto Rican Tostones which are made with green plantains, this pastelón recipe uses plantains that have turned completely yellow with a lot of black.
They need to be sliced as thin as you can get them without falling apart. Mine were quite small, so I got four slices out of each plantain about 1/4-inch thick. I had two layers of plantain with only one layer of picadillo in the middle.
Most people make their pastelón with three layers of plantains and two layers of meat. I like the smaller ratio of plantains, otherwise it’s too sweet for my taste.
The beauty of Puerto Rican cooking is that you can easily change it to accommodate your preference. Some people even boil the plantains instead of frying. Whatever your diet, this is sure to become a favorite!
- 4-6 ripe plantains
- 1 recipe picadillo prepared without potatoes*
- 2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar and Monterrey Jack)
- 2 eggs
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8x8 baking dish and set aside.
- Peel the plantains and cut into long 1/4-inch slices. In a large frying pan over medium heat, fry plantains until soft and golden, about 2-4 minutes per side. Place on paper towels to drain.
- Assemble the casserole by arranging 1/3 of the plantains in single layer in the baking dish. Sprinkle with about half the cheese and half the picadillo mixture. Repeat these layers ending with a layer of plantains.
- Beat the eggs with 2 tablespoons of water. Pour over the casserole and shake to distribute through the layers. Sprinkle with extra cheese.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly.